Sunday, April 15, 2007

Crass - The Punkest Of All Punk Bands!

At the start of the 1980s I was thirteen. Having missed the first wave of Punk, heralded by The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Damned (amongst others), I was just old enough to get into Crass.

Crass were the quintessential Punk band. True anarchists, pacifists, vegans and feminists. They lived the DIY ethic, living communally in a co-op squat. Their music wasn't always easy on the ear, but their political message was inspiring and has shaped my political outlook to this day.

What was particularly great about Crass was that you could write to them and they would write hand written letters back, in which they would put in the occasional flexi disc, badges or sew on patches.

Receiving one of their letters felt like Christmas and the care they took of their fans made them the best band to be into, more so than the music.

Best single for me was Bloody Revolutions b/w Person's Unknown by label mates Poison Girls.

It's both amazing and gratifying to see they have a visible presence on the Internet, as few people seemed to know about them at the time.

Even though they sold a good amount of records they never charted because they sold their records below retail price out of loyalty to their fans. Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud, B.A. Nana, Eve Libertine and all the other Crass boys and girls, this old punk salutes you!


gnome said...

Crass, yes, yes, quite a band. Still, I must admit the Clash are the est thing since the doors. Washington Bullets...

fatherkrishna said...

I have been lucky enough to meet Mick Jones and Joe Strummer of the Clash, and saw them live in 1984 on the 'Cut The Crap' Tour.

White Riot!

gnome said...

You've met Jones & Strummer! Amazing, bloody amazing!

fuck the system said...

joe stummer rip jones good pop music but my 6 year old boys got more rebel in him,they never grasped the alternative thing,they just turned into rock superstars,cashing in on the system they preached against about living in luxury,kitted out in designer label boy gear from carnaby street thatsgot nothing to do with punk,turning rebellion into money,you knobhead,i get sick of fashion heads like you saying you were a punk you ,why cos you had a spike.why?????

fuck the system said...

By now we had realised that our fellow punks, The Pistols, The Clash and all the other muso-puppets weren't doing it at all. They may like to think that they ripped off the majors, but it was Joe Public who'd been ripped. They helped no one but themselves, started another facile fashion, brought a new lease of life to London's trendy Kings Road and claimed they'd started a revolution. Same old story.

fatherkrishna said...

"you knobhead,i get sick of fashion heads like you saying you were a punk you ,why cos you had a spike.why?????"

Erm... No, I don't think so. I was into the ethos of Crass as stated in the post. Fshion had very little to do with it.

As for the fact that the major label Punks (Clash, Damned, Pistols, Siouxsie etc.) were influenced by and influenced Carnaby street fashions and enjoyed the popstar/muso trappings of fame, I doubt they'd claim otherwise.

But you seem to have missed the point of my post. It was to celebrate a band that cared more about their politics and fans than the above mentioned fame and fortune.

Why do you feel the need to be elitist about your own preumably "true punk" status?

Please explain your position further and your apparent hostility, 'cos I really don't get it...